I don’t know about you, but the majority of physical, paper mail that I get nowadays is marketing mail. As a result of a press release I got this morning from a company called MindFireInc, I’ve been doing some reading into how Hewlett Packard supports direct mail marketeers – and how MindFireInc will be integrating mobile barcodes onto the campaigns.
What’s the story here?
This story is a combination of three different things:
1) Hewlett-Packards extremely effective SmartStream programme
2) MindFireInc’s product that connects direct mail marketing with on-line
3) Mobile barcodes.
So let’s go through those briefly, one at a time:
SmartStream: this is a large suite of services and products that HP sells in order to support the rapid design, printing and delivery of vast jobs. It combines a range of industrial grade printers with a software suite that allows to you make design changes and implement them during an actual run without disrupting the flow. It will also allow you to, for example, print thousands and thousands of direct mail marketing letters, each with a different name on it – you know, for that “personalised” feel.
MindFireInc: this company provides web links for those personalised mails. So along with your name, a publisher can include a unique weblink on the letter. That way, if the consumer does follow the link, they’ll go to a landing page (provided by MindFireInc) that has their name on it.
Mobile barcodes: MindFireInc is now offering the ability to send a 2d barcode out with every letter. That way a customer doesn’t have to type in the custom URL – they can just snap it with their phone and get sent directly to their personalised landing page. A big part of this offering is that it syncs completely with the SmartStream offering from HP – anyone using SmartStream can place mobile barcodes on their printed products from within the software suite, with no extra effort on their part.
What we think?
Again I don’t know how you do things, but I never, ever open direct mail marketing. And I’m going to presume that the people who do regularly use their physical mail as a method for getting marketing input aren’t the kind of technical early adopter who are likely to have a smartphone with a barcode scanner on it. I applaud MindFireInc for getting in on this, and for using QR Codes – they aren’t pissing about with non-standard barcodes. But I honestly don’t think this is going to increase the presence of barcodes… or the companies who use this particular service.